The little engine that could....The Crepe Cakerie!

Two years ago, my future daughter-in-law "to be" called me with a special request.  She told me that she hated cake, but would be honored if I would agree to make a crepe cake for her wedding.  With both love and fear in my heart, I began the research and development of the most beautiful and delicious cake for an unforgettable Malibu wedding.  Oh, and did I mention that I live in North Carolina?  The logistics, home-made nutellas, and moist and buttery layers of crepes came together beautifully.  Shortly before the ceremony, we decorated the cake with the bride's favorite flowers.  And that was just the beginning.  The Crepe Cakerie is now a viable business offering seasonal cakes for showers, anniversaries, weddings, and other special occasions.  This labor of love has become a profitable business.  Special thanks to Paul and Kristy for dreaming up a business that brings joy to so many!

Interested in making crepes?  Here's my favorite chocolate hazelnut spread:

Ingredients:

2 cups (heaping) hazelnuts (about 10 ounces)

1/4 cup sugar

1 pound semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature

 1 cup heavy cream

 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking sheet once for even toasting, until deep brown, 13-15 minutes. Let cool completely. (If nuts have skins, rub them in a kitchen towel to remove.)

2. Grind hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor until a fairly smooth, buttery paste forms, about 1 minute.

3. Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a large saucepan of simmering water; stir often until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove bowl; add butter and whisk until completely incorporated. Whisk in cream and salt, then hazelnut paste.

4. Pour nutella into jars, dividing equally. Let cool. (Nutella will thicken and become soft and peanut butter-like as it cools.) Screw on lids.

5. DO AHEAD Hazelnut spread can be made up to 4 weeks ahead; keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature for 4 hours to soften. Can stand at room temperature up to 4 days.

6. Fill crepes with spread, then garnish with fresh herbs (such as lavender or sage), glazed nuts, and a swizzle of fruit jam.

 

Joan Baumer